Feast in the House of Simon the Pharisee

Peter Paul Rubens, Feast in the House of Simon the Pharisee, 1618-20. Oil on canvas transferred from wood, the Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

Rubens was a Flemish Baroque painter. The story he is interpreting in this painting is from Luke 7:36-50. In this story the Pharisees are meeting with Jesus at a feast and Rubens illustrates the conflict between their two opposing approaches to life. The structure of the painting and the arrangement of the color, make the contrast in their beliefs plain. The left side of the composition, occupied by Simon the Pharisee, is full of swirling movement and is marked by the uneven rhythm of small, broken forms; the right side, dominated by the figure of Christ, is composed of calm lines and large areas of color.

Feast in the House of Simon the Pharisee, 1618-20.

Luke 7:36-50

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36One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table.37And a woman ... View more

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